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Thompson sentencing postponed

WINDOM -- A sentencing hearing for Andrew Michael Thompson, originally set for Monday and postponed due to weather, has been tentatively continued to Jan. 26, but may need to be pushed further down the court calendar to make way for a previously scheduled trial.

Thompson, 29, of Windom, pleaded guilty in September 2008 to first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving his stepdaughter, who was 11 at the time he had sexual contact with her, which was in August 2007.

Thompson's wife, Tennie Thompson, pleaded guilty in March 2008 to aiding an offender and was sentenced to a year in the Cottonwood County Jail, plus 10 years probation. Tennie allegedly told her daughter to blame the sexual conduct on another man.

The complaint states an 11-year-old girl had visited a medical clinic in Windom for a follow up appointment, and the doctor and detected sperm in the girl's urine sample.

A family services official spoke with the girl, who said a man named Paul had threatened her, pushed her down on her bed and raped her. Months later, after being removed from her home, the girl admitted it was her stepfather who had raped her, and her mother who told her to blame Paul, a man who had lived with the family for a short time.

The girl said Paul had come to live with them after meeting her mother and stepfather on the Internet. When questioned by authorities, Tennie said she had picked up Paul at the bus stop in Worthington at the end of May 2007, and he had left Aug. 25, 2007, because they were not getting along. She said she did not know his last name.

Andrew told authorities he had been the one to pick Paul up at the bus station. Authorities noted several inconsistencies in their stories when Tennie and Andrew were questioned individually.

Authorities learned Paul's last name by contacting local businesses where he had applied for jobs. He was located in November 2007 and denied all allegations, telling authorities he had left Windom the last weekend in July and moved to New York, a fact bus records confirmed. When asked how the child in question was treated while he lived in Windom, Paul reported instances of neglect and questionable parenting, adding that Andrew had showed him child pornography on his computer and allegedly said he had planned to have sexual contact with the child when she was older.

Another man who lived with the couple for a time allegedly reported overhearing a phone conversation between Andrew and Tennie, in which Andrew said he had a split personality. The other personality's name was Jeremy, he said, and it could have been Jeremy who had molested the girl.

Andrew has been held in the Cottonwood County Jail since his arrest in November 2007.